Copyright

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
circumvention, dmca, hacking, paywall

Companies:
ny times



Does A 27-Second Video Showing How To 'Hack' The NYT Paywall Violate The DMCA?

from the it-certainly-might... dept

We've discussed many times just how easy it is to get around the NY Times' paywall. I've never run up against it because I don't have javascript enabled, and the whole system is javascript based. We have wondered, however, if doing this is technically a violation of the DMCA -- specifically the anti-circumvention clause. After all, I am circumventing technical protection measures. That I have javascript automatically turned off for all sites doesn't much matter.

Of course, now that the paywalls been out for a while, people are finding even more ways to get around the paywall, including merely removing the string at the end of the URL. This is so simple, that someone made a 27-second video showing people how to "hack" the NY Times paywall:
Of course, I'm wondering if just this video alone violates the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause. Section 1201 of the DMCA says (in part): "No person shall... offer to the public... any technology, product, service, device, component or part thereof, that is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title." Is putting up a video that shows an incredibly easy way to get around the NY Times protection measures a violation?

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2011 @ 6:56am

    Does it violate DMCA? It does. None of the actions inside of it, performed by an individual would be considered illegal (you can turn off javascript if you like good luck enjoying the last 20% of the internet that doesn't need it). However, showing people how to perform those acts *in context of this website* could be considered illegal.

    More than anything, it shows the NYT firewall to be ineffective, and shows the video poster to by a whiny child who doesn't understand what it means when someone says "you are not welcome".

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